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Conservative Donations Plummet as Reform UK Surges: A Shift in Political Landscape Ahead of 2024 Election

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Conservative Party contributions exceed £570,000 in campaign's initial week, a decrease from £5.7 million in 2019

Recent YouGov survey shows the Conservatives trailing Reform UK for the first time.

Political reporter @AmroJourno

Friday, June 14, 2024, at 7

During the initial week of the election campaign, the Conservative Party secured only 10% of the funding it gathered in 2019 when Boris Johnson was leading.

According to the latest figures from the Electoral Commission, the Conservative Party garnered £574,918 in donations from May 30 to June 5, a steep decline from the £5.7 million they collected in the week of November 6-12, five years prior.

The data indicates that during the initial week of the election campaign, political parties declared receiving donations totaling £3.2 million.

Mr. Sunak's party garnered £574,918 solely from contributions, in addition to £22,453 sourced from government allocations.

In the same period, the Labour Party received £926,908 solely from donations, in addition to £652,411 in public funding allocated to opposition parties that have more than two members of parliament.

Farage forecasts potential vote count for Reform – real-time updates

The figures indicate a dramatic reversal for the Labour Party compared to the 2019 election, during which they managed to gather only £218,500 in the first week of campaigning.

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Rishi Sunak claims that supporting Reform would give Labour unchecked power, as he addresses the shift in poll results.

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In the latest contributions, the most substantial single donation to the Labour Party amounted to £500,000, courtesy of Toledo Productions, a film company.

The decline in contributions is set to further challenge Rishi Sunak, following his party's fall behind Nigel Farage's Reform UK in a recent YouGov survey.

Mr. Sunak dismissed Mr. Farage's claim that his party has become the main challenger to Labour, following a poll that showed Reform at 19% and the Conservatives at 18% in voter support.

According to data from the Electoral Commission, Reform garnered donations totaling £140,000. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats reported receiving £454,999, the SNP disclosed £127,998, and the Co-operative Party announced contributions of £120,000.

Plaid Cymru reported no donations, however, it received £33,194 from public funds.

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The Social Democrat Party and the Climate Party each announced contributions of £25,000, though neither received any governmental financial support.

Louise Edwards, who is in charge of regulation and digital transformation, stated: "This is the initial weekly report before the election, released as part of our series leading up to the national vote.

Stay informed with the most recent updates from the UK and across the globe by tuning into Sky News.

It's clear that the electorate is keen to understand the financial sources of political groups, and releasing this information plays a crucial role in ensuring transparency for the voting public.

"Although parties can collect unlimited funds, there are established spending caps before elections to maintain fair competition."

The data released by the commission responsible for monitoring elections and overseeing political financing in the UK only include donations exceeding £11,500, as smaller contributions do not require disclosure.

In 2019, the limit was set at £7,500.

👉 Tap this link to subscribe to the Electoral Dysfunction podcast on your preferred platform 👈

The contributions made to Mr. Sunak pale in comparison to the substantial funds Mr. Johnson garnered from large corporations and affluent supporters during the lead-up to the 2019 election, where his campaign was centered around the promise to "get Brexit done."

The most substantial contribution to the Conservative Party during the initial week of the 2019 election campaign came in the form of a £1 million donation from theater entrepreneur John Gore.

In comparison, the highest individual contribution to the Tories during the same timeframe this year amounted to £75,000, donated by the entrepreneur Bassim Haidar.

Today, several Conservative contenders shared videos where Mr. Johnson urged community members to back the party during the election on July 4.

The latest YouGov survey shows Labour leading with 37% of the vote, with Reform UK at 19% and the Conservatives closely behind at 18%.

In recent polling, the Liberal Democrats received 14% of the vote, while the Green Party garnered 7%, and the Scottish National Party obtained 3%.

Read more: Nigel Farage insists on participating in the leadership debate event. Conservative contenders distance themselves from the Tory label.

In reaction to the survey, Mr. Sunak remarked that casting a ballot for Reform would essentially be handing a blank cheque to Labour.

Addressing the media at the G7 summit in Italy, the prime minister stated, "We are at the midpoint of this election, and I am continuing to vigorously campaign for every vote."

"The survey indicates that the critical poll is the one occurring on July 4th. However, should the results of this survey be mirrored in the actual poll, it would essentially give the Labour Party free rein to impose taxes on everything—people's homes, pensions, cars, and even their families. I am committed to working diligently to prevent this scenario from unfolding."

Sky News reached out to the Conservative Party for a response.

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